.... Sis... I'm so sorry. I need to start... anew. The doctors can't save you... I couldn't stop you from burning quick enough... The rubble was too much...
All because of him. I hate him. I'll... I'll kill him.
I can see your face... I see it melting, almost peaceful... I know for certain it's too late to save you...
He'll die for this. I'll do to him what he made me do to you.
It's over. I hear sirens. Who could have seen? This is a dead road...
And with that, it all fades....
* * *
Fraulein awoke at the sound of her name. She looked around, surprised that she was lying on the sofa of her aunt's home.
"... I thought I was at the station?"
Aunt Nela frowned. "Your boss called and told me to pick you up. You'd fallen asleep at the coffee machine again."
It was Nina's turn to frown. "Strange, I thought I'd at least made it back to my desk."
Nela hit her playfully in the arm with a rolled up newspaper. "You need to make sure you get enough sleep before you go to work. Not during."
Nina took a moment to ponder. "I'm pretty sure I got at least 8 hours last night..."
"Morning, Detective Fraulein!"
Nina looked up at the cheery male voice that erupted from the doorway. "Morning, Mister Darter. You know you can call me Nina, right?"
Darter chuckled. "And you know you can call me Justin, right? Haha, it's so nice to see you awake for once!"
Nina adjusted herself on the sofa so that she was sitting somewhat upright. "Yeah... and what exactly are you doing at my aunt's house?"
"I came by to speak to your good self, actually," Justin perched himself onto the edge of the couch, next to Nina's feet. "That is, if I could speak to you alone for a minute?" He looked up at Nela expectantly.
Nela responded immediately. "Of course," she said, starting to scuttle out of the room. "You kids have fun!" And with that she left them.
A frown slid across Darter's face, making Nina immediately fear for the worst. "Justin, if I'm in trouble again -"
"No, Fraulein. You're not the one in trouble."
Nina looked at him straight in the eye. "...What exactly have you done, Darter?" It must have been serious. He'd called her by her surname again.
Justin looked straight back at her. "It's not you, and it's not me. It's Nela."
Nina froze. "...What?"
Justin's gaze soften slightly, in a sort of sympathetic way. "She's the first suspect on a new case. I thought I should be the one to tell you, before Misham drops the avalanche on you."
Davina Misham. Their boss. Scary, intimidating, black-hole-for-a-heart woman. Not som
eone who'd be ideal for breaking the bad news to someone. Or even the good news, come to think of it.
Nina sighed. "Can you outline the case for me?"
"I'm sorry. I can't give out details of the case to anyone... apart from the officers assigned to the case..."
"I'll take it." Nina looked at him indignantly. "I'll pick up the case."
Justin's eyes were cast towards the floor. "I'm sorry, Fraulein. Misham didn't want you on the case. She assigned you to a different enquiry."
Nina raised an eyebrow. "And what would that be?"
* * *